Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I forgot!

I forgot to mention Reaghan got adopted!  It just kind of happened all of a sudden between spring break and all that went on with Zodiac and the NW trial.  But she went to a very nice retired lady who has two older dogs but misses doing training and having a dog she can take on nice walks.  She also wants to do pet therapy with her and has a granddaughter who wants to work with her for 4-H dog events.  I think it's a perfect home for Reaghan and they all seemed to love each other when they came down to meet her and take her home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Random things

This is a dog with Demodex.  It has been losing hair for a year.  I'm not sure what the breaking point was that they decided to bring it in, but they did take all the treatments that I recommended.  I hope to see her for a recheck soon.  But it might not come in on my day.  Or at all.  People like this are 50/50 on rechecks.  But at least they have enough meds for 3 months. 
 I took this on my run after work one day at the park.  The trail had some good overlooks of the creek.  It should be prettier later in the spring.
 This was on a run near our house.  I thought it made a pretty photo.
 I delivered this kitten via c-section last week. It's sibling was born on Saturday and they finally brought mom in Monday.  We weren't sure the kitten would be alive.  But he was up and squirming in no time once I got him out!  Then we spayed the momma.  For obvious reasons I end a lot of pregnancies on the days I work at the spay/neuter clinic so it was nice to save this little one for a change.  Hopefully he and the other kitten will get good responsible homes.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Earlier this week this little one turned 7.  Only she is not so little anymore!  She's crazy tall and has feet almost as big as mine.

She also has a very big heart.  Instead of presents and toys for her birthday she asked for everyone to bring donations for a local animal shelter.  We are so proud of her!
And here are a few pics from her animal themed birthday party.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Legend Continues

Words cannot describe Legend's performance in her very first NW3 trial this weekend.  On the heels of a difficult week she certainly did her best to put in a bright spot.  Friday we took our time getting ready and making the 7 hour drive to Moline, IL (just on the Iowa border) and arrived at the hotel in the early evening and enjoyed a nice meal at the steak house next door.  Then saturday off to the trial site just 2 miles away.  Nadin and Jerry headed off for their volunteer orientation and assignments and I settled in for my day in the parking lot.  I didn't really know what to expect for our first time out but I figured getting no false alerts and not timing out would be reasonable goals.  I also wanted to be able to learn from the experience to be prepared for the next time.

As a reward for often being one of the last dogs to go, this time we drew the #1 slot!  So it was nice to get our three interior searches done right off the bat-half way done!  The times were pretty short, 2:30 per room and they were all classrooms with lots of desks and bookshelves, etc.  She fairly quickly found one hide in each of the first two rooms and I used the rest of my time up the 30 second warning to be very sure I covered the whole search area.  In the third room she found 2 hides and I felt I had finished adequately clearing the area before the 30 second warning and called my finish.  It was really hard to not know if we missed anything!  But I felt like we were thorough.

Then back to the car until exteriors.  It was a good sized area with lots of places that could have a hide.  We make a lap around only to come back and work a threshold hide.  After she found that we took one more check around the area before we heard the 30 second warning and I called finish since she showed no interest in anything else.  Again-no obvious fail so just keep on waiting!

Next up was containers-all luggage/bags.  The time here was only 2:00 minutes and there were 11 bags in an X shape.  She found two hides.  I tried to check everything going in both directions and didn't get any more interest so called finish before the 30 second warning.

Finally vehicles.  There were 3 to search and we had the most time here with 3:00.  She found 1 hide on each of the two vehicles closest to the start line. It was cool to watch her work because on one she picked up the odor on the far side of the car, tried to crawl under, realized that was not the best plan, came out, went around to the other side and found it. We searched the other vehicle a few times going in both directions and also checked the remainder of the first two.  She showed a little interest in the van but didn't stick anything so I called it when they gave me the 30 second warning.

So we completed all our searches with no false alerts and found something in every area.  That meant as long as we didn't miss any hides we could pass!  But I tried not to be too optimistic.  I didn't want to be hopeful and then disappointed. I just focused on the fact that we had done so well and had a good experience.  I felt like at this level there would be more hides to find, or at least one area with three hides.  But when they posted the results-the hides in each area matched what I had found.  I checked the list over and over, unable to believe that we had gotten our NW3 title our first time out!  And that we continued our streak of 100% success rate!

As a bonus we placed 2nd overall!  There were only 4 of the 28 dogs that passed that day.  I was so amazed and so proud.  We had a total search time of over 11:00 minutes but I hadn't tried to hurry, just be thorough.  But I did learn that if she shows no interest in area I probably don't need to go back and check a 2nd or 3rd time!  So maybe next time we can be more efficient since she has very much proven she knows what to do and can be trusted.

We enjoyed visiting with some of the Nosework friends we have made over the last year of trialing as well.  We then celebrated with dinner and a little riverboat gambling before heading back today.  Now we get to stat planning our journey to our NW3 Elite title!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mama's Broken Heart

For the first time in more than 20 years I don't have a black and white dog in my life.  Zodiac continued to not do well during the week.  He acted like he didn't feel well, spent most of his time in bed looking miserable, had increasing difficulty in getting around and mostly stopped eating.  I knew I could try to keep going, try new drugs, search for foods he would eat, but I was not optimistic that he would get any better.  And even if he returned to normal, he was already weak and painful in the hind end.  We knew it would only be a matter of time before he would not be able to get around at all anymore so we elected to let him go and not suffer any longer.  We spent a few hours petting and loving on him, fed him a bag of treats and bowl of ice cream and said our final good-byes. He gave it a good try, but in the end it was just too much and we owed it to him to just let go. 

He was the sweetest boy I ever knew.  So patient and gentle with everyone-kids, puppies, you name it. He was the easiest dog we have ever lived with, so easy to train, and willing to try anything I asked.  I wasn't sure when the rescue dropped him off if he was what I was looking for, but he ended up being just what I needed and so much more.  Everyone should be so lucky to have such a good dog in their life.  We will miss all the silly things he used to do-bark at rabbits when the vacuum came on, roll on the dirty towels, licking the TV trays as he walked by, carrying a toy in his mouth while he was herding Legend, barking at the pigs to round them up, and probably more that I can't think of.  We will even miss his naughty habit of going through the trash (which he still did), or counter surfing when he was younger.  We will miss that sweet face, fluffy coat and stunning beauty. We will miss the joy he brought to others and way he was a perfect example of how versatile a border collie could be and how wonderful rescue dogs are.  We are saddened by the emptiness this leaves in our lives but thankful for the almost 13 years we had together.  Run free baby Z...we will see you again someday. 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We had a good time on our spring break in San Antonio.  We didn't have the greatest weather though, despite our efforts to head south for warmth and sunshine.  We took one day (which we hoped would be the nice day of the week) to go hiking.  It was cool and cloudy with a little drizzle but we headed out to Enchanted Rock anyway.  It was a pretty hike, the landscape is different from Missouri.  But the trails were not marked very well and it would have been prettier in the sunshine I think. 

 These two pictures are the same but I played with the color functions.

 I was a little obsessed with the purple flowers.

 The nicest day of the week we ended up going to Natural Bridge Caverns-there was actually some sunshine that day.  In this picture you can see the natural bridge that is near the entrance to the cave.
 They also offered other activities here such as a zipline.  I took pictures but did not zipline.

 The grounds at the cavern.

 Inside the cave-it was one of the better caves I have been to.

 More flowers at the cave site.

 The natural bridge from another angle

 Obligatory picture of the Alamo.  We didn't realize it would be right in downtown.  Like, there is a Ripley's believe it or not and a t-shirt shop right across the street.  Kind of weird.  We didn't actually go in, because we didn't want to wait in line.  But we walked around the grounds and gardens.
 We spent quite a bit of time on the Riverwalk.  Jerry and I went running there a few mornings and we did some eating and shopping and a boat tour along it.  It's really pretty and especially if the weather is nice!  I'm sure it's even better when everything is in full bloom.

 Since the weather was not great we also did some indoor activities-mini golf, movie (great reclining seats), and shopping.
Overall San Antonio was a nice place for a long weekend but I don't think we would want to spend a long vacation there.